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11 important content marketing metrics I bet you don’t measure

Eighty-eight percent of marketers use content marketing—up by 2 percent from last year (86 percent). Seventy-six percent of them also plan to create more content in 2016, according to Content Marketing Institute.

However, measuring content effectiveness is among the top challenges faced by B2B content marketers.

As a marketer, bringing tangible results should be our top priority. However, determining the success of content is not as simple as it appears. While there are several metrics to dig into, there is no particular set of metrics to answer your questions.With businesses allotting more of their budget to content marketing, marketers must align their goals with the results they want. Let’s learn about the metrics that determine the overall performance and health of your content campaign—not just those that are easy to track.

1. Longevity

You’ve spent time and resources creating great content. How long will that piece of content bring in traffic and leads?

Data from Bit.ly’s URL shortening tool shows that the half-life of their links is just a few hours. The links created by their tool drive 50 percent of their potential clicks in roughly three hours.

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2. Retention metrics

Retention metrics show the percentage of visitors returning to your website and content pieces.

Having someone visit your blog once in a while is a hook-up, not a relationship. Your goal is to monitor the frequency of returns. This gives you insights into the relationships you’re building and tells you if your audience sees you as a trusted source of authority.

Use these insights to acquire new users and retain existing ones. A study by Vulture.com shows that those who visit a site five times or more in a month are highly likely to regularly visit the site.

3. Time engaged with content

A good way to measure the effectiveness of your content is by knowing the time people engage with it.

A study shows that 73 percent of marketers don’t actively track the time users spend to engage with their content. No wonder they feel their content marketing is ineffective!

A study by Chartbeat shows that visitors who read an article for three minutes were twice as likely to return as those who read for one minute.

4. Audience contribution

A good way to build social proof is by getting your audience to contribute to your content. This helps in the sales process.

According to some studies, 79 percent of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Encourage your audience to contribute to the success of your content marketing. This could be in the form of reviews, blog comments, or social likes and shares.

Audience contribution is a form of quantitative metrics used to understand what your audience likes, dislikes, and the topics which spark the best discussions.

How to measure: Product reviews, blog comments, social likes, shares, or comments and guest contribution to your blog.

5. Reduced purchase time

Theoretically, content marketing makes it easier to sell to your potential leads and customers before initiating the first conversation.

According to a 2016 DemandGen report, 47 percent of B2B buyers consume three to five pieces of content prior to engaging with a salesperson.

With so many sources to gather information, it becomes difficult to determine the time it takes for a prospect to make a purchase from the time of the first interaction.

The sales department understands the importance of the buying cycle. It is time a content marketer implements the same. A typical lifecycle would be the time from which a user signs up for your email list to the time they make the first purchase.

Make a baseline time frame for the lifecycle and then push your marketing team to reduce it. How to measure: The time it takes to convert a visitor into a paid customer or user.

6. Backlinks from thought leaders

Do you have a good idea about the leaders and competitors in your industry? The best content marketers know how to leverage these people.

Collaborate with industry leaders to get onto their radar. This improves your brand awareness, opens up avenues for your marketing campaigns, and will encourage more people to link back to your website.

Measure the traffic to your website from these collaborations. After receiving this data, invest in building relations with thought leaders.

How to measure: SEMrush lets you check your website’s backlink status daily.

7. Cost effectiveness

Creating great content costs either money or time. You either do it by yourself or invest in someone who can create great content for you. If done right, this content will reduce the average cost you spend to gain a lead. According to HubSpot’s State of Inbound, the cost is dramatically reduced.

How to measure: In an Excel sheet, list your spending on inbound and outbound campaigns. This includes how much your content creation team costs, paid campaigns, and the price you pay for using different tools.

In another section, list down the leads you get from your content. For a service company, this may be when someone requests a quote. For a project company, this will be in the number of paying users.

Compare the outgoing and incoming expenses. Ideally, the revenue should be more than the expenses. If you’re not getting a cost effective investment, start searching for another provider.

8. Leads per keyword

When a potential lead learns about you on their own, it is always profitable for you. SEO is an organic way in which people can stumble across your website. Want to know how profitable this can be?

By knowing which keywords bring you leads, you can focus on them for your future marketing campaigns. Now you know the exact keywords to target, the new types of content to create around these keywords, and which content to continue promoting.

How to measure: Free tools include Google Keyword Planner, Google Trends, and WordStream Keyword tool. Paid tools include Moz’s Keyword Difficulty Tool and Ahref’s.

9. Sales from content marketing

Can you link your content marketing efforts to increased revenue? If not, then how do you measure performance and budget?

ROI is the Holy Grail of content marketing and every other marketing metric. Here’s an easy way to measure it. Measure your revenue, production cost, and distribution.

How to measure: The formula to calculate it is:

10. Production cost

Do you know your production cost? You may not be creating all your content by yourself. Most businesses source help from others for content creation and content marketing.

Do you measure the production cost every month? If you’re using a freelancer or an agency, it is easy: keep track of the invoices.

If your internal staff manages the content, it becomes trickier to track. You have to consider the overhead costs and the lost productivity when you pull them away from the task they’re meant to do. Yet it is worthwhile and possible to collect the production cost.

How to measure: Cost in terms of the number of people creating content, what you pay to them, the paid tools they use in the content creation process, or what you pay to the freelancer/agency.

11. Promotion cost per piece

Gone are the days when distributing content was a free way to bring in traffic. With so many businesses going online, content distribution is not as easy as sharing an update on social media.

Measure how much it costs you to distribute and promote each piece. This will give an insight into your actual content marketing budget and the effectiveness of your campaign.

I’d love to know the specific metric you’ll add to your analytics report. Leave in the comments below.

Source: https://www.techinasia.com

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